To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Artillery-tn


Lance Bombardier

James Surr


1921/02/11 - Born Ashton-Under-Lyne

Occupation - Clerk

Royal Artillery

242/48 LAA


Japanese PoW

1942/03/20 - Captured Java

PoW No. 4334

Japanese Index Card - Side 1


Japanese Index Card - Side 2


1944/06/27 - Transported in Java Party 22 from Java to Singapore

New PoW No. 5707

1944/07/07 - Malaya

 1944/07/12 to 1944/07/27 - Transported to Sumatra Railway Camp 1 in Queen Elisabeth Ferry

New PoW No. 10301

1945/09/02 - Liberated



Age 95




Craven Herald & Pioneer

By Lesley Tate, Senior Reporter

Craven's last Japanese prisoner of war dies aged 95

SKIPTON'S last remaining Far East prisoner of war James Surr has died at the age of 95.

Mr Surr, who lived in Embsay, died at Craven Nursing Home on Saturday.

Until the early part of 2000, Mr Surr was the only person who stood at the war memorial in Skipton on August 15 every year to mark Victory in Japan Day – the day in 1945 when Japan surrendered.

Mr Surr expressed his concern in the Craven Herald, which led to him being joined at the war memorial every year afterwards by representatives of the Royal British Legion.

Mr Surr spent three-and a-half years as a prisoner of war in Java and Sumatra, and said the anniversary of Japan's surrender in the Second World War was always a sad day. Of all his comrades who went to Borneo, only six came home – and that was because they had dysentry.

Mr Surr went on to write a book about his war experiences entitled 'Trust in God and keep your bowels open'.

Mr Surr's wife, Ethel, died last year at the age of 88. They had two children, Nora and Stephen, grandchildren and great grandchildren.



Craven Herald & Pioneer

Roll of Honour


WO 361/2006, WO 392/26, WO 345/50, WO 361/2002, WO 361/1948, WO 361/2222, WO 361/2013


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